Stela is hysterical when she discovers her parents dead on a lonely, cold november night. Then her world is turned upside down when she is placed in the custody of her only living relative, an aunt she has never heard of. Her aunt's family being much more than strange, Stela wonders whats going on, why they are such an odd bunch of people, why her parents never said anything about them, and what are they hiding?
The plane ride is awful. Stela has always been afraid of heights and they had encountered some frightful turbulence not long ago. It certainly does nothing for her clenching stomach. She keeps replaying that night in her mind, over and over. Her father slung across the floor, blood drenched clothes sticking to his limp, still warm body. Her mother lying lifeless on the bed, blood covering her torso. It was obvious her dad, always the hero, had gotten up, put up a fight, did everything in his power to protect his wife. But in the end it turned out it was not enough. Their anonymous killer got what he wanted.
Who would want to hurt her parents so badly? From what she knew, they were well liked and popular, not really on bad terms with anyone. They didn't have loads of money, but they weren't poor. They were nice, friendly people with lots of friends of every social background and culture. They accepted everyone and judged none. To Stela, her parents were some of the most likable adults she had ever met.
The haunting thoughts make hot tears swell in her brown eyes. She swallows hard, forcing them down. She can not have another breakdown, not here. No one else on this plane knows her story. The social worker is not here to comfort her this time. Everyone will just think she is some crazy girl who randomly goes into hysterics. So she closes her eyes and wills herself to sleep.
Even in the land of dreams she cannot escape the horrid memories. Of course when the cops had arrived, she was the prime suspect. The nightmare of the interrogation, being treated like a cold blooded killer, it troubled her would-be peaceful sleep. Her parents were dead, and she was being blamed. Talk about a double whammy. The charges were dropped when they discovered her aliby was solid, and she was, in fact, over studying at her best friends house.
There is a rough bump as the plane's wheels hit the runway of her next destination, her new home. It jostles her out of her troubled sleep. She begins to gather up all her carry-on belongings, eager to escape the tiny, suffocating space.